Saturday, February 09, 2013

once upon a time there was no internet

This post goes out to all my New York and New England friends who are, I hope, cooped up inside during the snowstorm, drinking hot beverages and snuggling up next to soft, warm creatures. And to my nurse friends trying to keep their hospital-air-dried eyeballs open on night shift. (Isn't it amazing how as soon as you get home your eyelids start gliding over your corneas with ease again?) And also to anyone else reading this OMG I love you for reading thank you so much. Here is 5 minutes to 5 hours of internet time wasting, depending on how far you wanna go.

First up, The Virtual Autopsy. Or, as my sister calls it, the funnest game ever. Basically, you get a case description of someone who died, and then you click on body parts and see actual autopsied images of said parts, and then you try to determine the cause of death from a list of options. Get it correct and you move onto the next case. Wrong and . . . you get a delicate letdown and another chance. This game is all about learning, after all. My favorite part is that while TVA's subject matter is very real (think colorful images of cross-sectioned spleens), the creators are very matter-of-factly British, cheeky and cheerful:  
She was eating beans, a chip butty and beef sausages.
It is a pity that a doctor wasn’t on the flight to drain the pleural cavity with an empty pen casing or something similar.
[thank you, Sister, and Sister's medical informatics course at the University of British Columbia]

* * *
Via Dooce comes a Tumblr of crazy animal pictures and videos that make you think, "WTF, evolution??" It is called WTF, Evolution? There aren't that many posts yet, so I am thinking of making some submissions:

First up would be this Boston Terrier who likes getting his belly tickled.

[thanks, Max]

And maybe next up would be this worm, called a pigbutt worm. [tangentially via Mimismartypants]


* * *
The Banana Slicer is an oldie but a goodie that was recently re-brought to my attention by a Facebook friend. If you missed it the first time around, the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer is a real item for sale on, and there are thousands of reviews, 99% of them sarcastic. Many of them masterpieces. But my favorite reviews are (or at least appear to be) sincere. 

Says Frank T.:
Friends: Please be aware that most bananas come from Central America. Very few of those countries are democracies. In fact, some of them have been referred to as "Banana Republics." The bananas consume a lot of oil as they make their way to your grocer. Furthermore, I notice the Hutzler 571 is made of plastic, and will eventually end up in your local landfill. Those conveniently sized banana slices atop your GMO corn flakes won't taste quite the same after the sea levels rise high enough to flood your breakfast nook. I urge you to boycott eh Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer as well as bananas that are not grown near your home. 
Adds Susan T., from Whiteland, IN:
This product didn't work for me. Bananas aren't he same size, so the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer is sometimes too small. Cutting a banana down to size to use the slicer kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?
It certainly does.

* * *
And last but not least, my blog idol Mimi Smartypants goes to the gastroenterologist.
I am going on hour 20 of not eating anything besides “clear liquids,” and I have had it up to here with Sierra Goddamn Mist and green tea and water. Supposedly I am also allowed “broth.” Who the hell wants broth? Oh yay, broth! Bro, you brought broth! Hey everybody, there’s broth in the break room! These are phrases you do not hear. Fuck broth. Fuck it to death.
You know, I used to actually really like broth. My mom would always bring me some when I was sick, or occasionally when I was, um, having difficulties on the toilet (because broth = instant bowel movement? I don't know). Anyway, even when I wasn't sick and all systems were running smoothly, I'd often heat myself up some nice broth and put it in a Tupperware sippy cup. Maybe it made me feel taken care of. Or maybe I just really like salt. (I do really, really like salt.) In any case, the last time I drank straight broth was at least 20 years ago (holy shit) and the image of bros and broth together makes me laugh. Also, I now want to buy all the vintage Tupperware.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

cold leftovers

Here are some little nuggets I was going to put in my last post, but my last post turned out to be long enough, so I figured, "Hey, free post!" Or something. I just worked six days in a row and ended it by barricading a door while a nude, obese elderly woman charged at me with her walker, screaming obscenities because she wanted me to push her around in a wheelchair. She later apologized very sweetly and asked me to bring her a strawberry shortcake and give her a leg massage. I brought her the shortcake despite her poorly controlled diabetes and wiggled her feet around a bit. (You gotta pick your battles.) Anyway, I am tired.

Frequently, medical teams in one specialty need to consult medical teams in another. For example, if our 38-weeks-pregnant psych patient is reporting contractions, we get on the horn with OB. When this happens, the consulting team writes a note about their findings, and the home team mentions the consultation in their OWN note, to indicate that all bases have been covered. When the consulting team has not found anything and doesn't feel the need to pursue the issue further, the home team will write that the consulting team "was not impressed." I love this.

Patient does not, in fact, have symptoms of meningitis? "Neurology was not impressed." [And thousands of dollars are spent on tests anyway to prevent the teeny tiny likelihood of being sued.]

Patient who's 38 weeks pregnant and reporting contractions but who is also attention-seeking and dramatic? "OB was not impressed."

The skin around patient's feeding tube is reddened and pus-y and painful and causing him to whimper each time you administer anything through it or change the oozy gauze dressing? "GI was not, for some reason, impressed."

(Poor guy.)

* * *
In nursing school, we are taught to write all our notes in a 100% objective manner. There should be no opinions, assumptions, judgments, etc in nursing notes (there totally are, of course, but that is another post). "Patient showed this. Patient said this. This treatment was given. The result was this." Done. Doctors, however, who should probably be more objective than they are but whose jobs revolve around rendering opinions, have much more leeway. The other day I was reading a History and Physical on a new patient. At the end there's always a plan, often many different plans if a patient has multiple issues. At the very end of one patient's list of plans was the following:

Those toenails have got to go."

I didn't see the toenails in question, unfortunately, but I get the sense that Podiatry would have been impressed.

* * *
I was recently impressed by a quote from a patient hidden deep within one of the notes. The writing physician was apparently walking the patient from the ER to our unit when the patient said, among a zillion other things, as the patient was severely manic, "I just want to find medicines that aren't Zyprexa that help me be mellow without making me fat or drooling or shaking."

Fair enough, kid. Fair enough.

Zyprexa, an oft-prescribed antipsychotic medication, does indeed cause drooling and shaking and "metabolic syndrome" aka "gaining a bunch of weight and getting diabetes." This kid is wise for not wanting to be in that club. The other day I was waiting for an internet video of tigers eating a snowman to load (yeah, I don't know), when this ad popped up...

How far we have come that someone out there wrote the most overly chirpy jingle of all time to advertise diabetes paraphernalia. Humanity is screwed.

Speaking of the future of humanity, am I the only one (besides my roommate Joni who is sitting here at the table as I type this) who was unaware that Mariah Carey had twins and named one of them Moroccan? MOROCCAN. As in, a person or thing from Morocco. Which this boy child is not.

Certain that this choice must have some Special Meaning, I went a'Googlin'. And lo, I was right. The child is named after a room in the Cannon-Carey NYC penthouse, which is furnished and decorated in a Moroccan style. It was in this room that Nick Cannon proposed to Mariah Carey. Glitter and butterflies!

The twin sister, Monroe, has a sensible name by comparison. And how nerdy am I for first thinking of James Monroe, the former POTUS, and not Marilyn?

Portrayals of romantic love among the elderly always makes me so happy. It is so refreshing and inspiring to see people living it up when they're going down, so to speak. (Sorry.) Also, maybe I like them because they give me hope, should I find myself still single 40 years from now HAHAHAHA *sob* 

But seriously, these stories are both really sweet.

Grab a tissue.
Sam and I dated for two years. Then, when I turned 70 and he 80, we had a joint 150th birthday party and announced our engagement. We married a year later.
The bride, 97, is keeping her name.

And last but not least, my two new favorite Instagram accounts (you can find yours truly @ginageener) both happen to be focused on pets in Japan.

And now I want to change the names of my cats Walter and James to Mitsumame and Yohkan-san and acquire a flock of colorful, adorable lovebirds.